FRESH: Government Extends Deadline for Obtaining National Identity Cards to 28th June 2024

In a recent development, the Government of Sierra Leone, working through the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), has announced an extension to the deadline for obtaining national identity cards, including National, ECOWAS, and Non-National cards. The decision, communicated via a public notice dated 28th March 2024, extends the previous deadline of 31st March 2024 to 28th June 2024....READ FULL ARTICLE

This extension reflects the government’s commitment to ensuring that citizens have adequate time to acquire their identity cards. It aligns with a Cabinet Directive ratified by Parliament in March 2022, mandating the linkage of identification cards with the National Identification Number (NIN) engraved on the cards.

This linkage streamlines access to a range of essential services, including financial transactions, vehicle registration, enrollment in public and private institutions, NASSIT enrollment, land and property registration, educational enrollment, SIM card registration, immigration services, business registration, and the registration of vital events.

The public notice encourages individuals to obtain their identification cards from any NCRA office or designated center across the country within the operating hours of 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday, by the new deadline of 28th June 2024. It underscores that while National and Non-National identity cards are mandatory, obtaining an ECOWAS identity card remains optional.

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Furthermore, the NCRA will collaborate with the security sector to enforce compliance with the Cabinet Directive and Parliamentary Ratification, effective from 1st July 2024.

This collaboration aims to ensure reliable identification of all residents, regardless of citizenship status, and to maintain consistency in their personal information.

It’s important to note that the identification card bearing the unique National Identification Number (NIN) is legally recognized as the primary source of personal identification in Sierra Leone. Therefore, obtaining and carrying this identity card is imperative for all residents.

For those seeking further information or assistance, individuals are encouraged to reach out to the NCRA or visit their nearest registration center.

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This extension follows a prior Public Notice issued by the National Civil Registration Authority in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Police and the Office of National Security on 5th February 2024, aiming to provide the public with ample opportunity to obtain their ID cards.

The National Identification Numbers (NINs) embedded in ID Cards are set to become a prerequisite for a variety of transactions and services, ranging from work and resident permit applications to accessing government provisions, obtaining driver’s licenses, and even eligibility for public examinations. Moreover, the NIN will be linked to land ownership and building permits, underscoring its significance in accessing essential services and rights.

To streamline the acquisition process, the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) has established multiple centers across Sierra Leone, where individuals aged 12 and above can apply for their National ID Cards. Non-citizens are also mandated to obtain Non-National ID Cards for resident and work permits. These centers provide Securitized Biometric Identity Cards, ensuring an efficient application procedure.

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It’s worth noting that the introduction of ECOWAS compliant, internationally benchmarked Identity Cards has engendered a sense of pride among cardholders, while also unlocking seamless opportunities for accessing social services and government provisions.

With the deadline fast approaching, the Government urges both citizens and non-citizens to act promptly to avoid last-minute rushes.

The designated centers for acquiring Biometric ID Cards are as follows:

1. NCRA Headquarters: 2 Walpole Street, Freetown.

2. NCRA Office: 23B Off Kingharman Road, Freetown.

3. NCRA Office: Kennedy Street, Freetown.

4. NCRA Branch Office: 230 Lumley Road, Freetown (By the Roundabout).

5. NCRA Office: Waterloo along the Freetown Highway (Opposite the Police Station).

6. NCRA Offices: Regional Headquarter Towns of Bo, Kenema, Makeni, and Port Loko....READ FULL ARTICLE

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